This is the title of today’s article ANSA.it which reports a dossier according to which, more than 80 thousand people would be at risk of infection by super-resistant bacteria. The article is just yet another exploit of a hypothetical bio-terrorist act (or viral outbreak), but are you sure you know everything?
Let’s start by saying that in the world there are hundreds and hundreds of P4 level laboratories in the world, of which only 135 in the United States, but now the question is legitimate and it is:
What is a P4 level laboratory?
The P1 / P2 / P3 / P4 range indicates the hazard level of the laboratory in which 4 is considered the maximum even if there are rumors of a P5 level (Read more: Biosafety level).
In this kind of laboratory biological and chemical research and experimentation is carried out also on possible and “hypothetical” bacteriological weapons, with this however do not point the finger!
Some P4 level laboratories use a transparency protocol, which means that everything inside is superintended or otherwise accessible to third parties (usually the state or pharmaceutical companies).
Many pharmaceutical companies need P4 level laboratories by force of things, for testing drugs and vaccines, so they are not all terrorists!
The question that will come to mind is: yes, but there are hundreds and hundreds of pharmaceutical companies with their respective laboratories? The answer is no: there are also private and defense laboratories. Beyond this we can not know and is clearly confidential, so pull your conclusions.
Now let’s analyze the difference between bioterrorism and outbreak; the definitions can be considered as a consequence of the other but they are different.
Bioterrorism vs Outbreak
Bioterrorism is considered an intentional act with the sole purpose of reaping as many victims and making as much audience as possible, for religious reasons, policies, etc.
The outbreak, however, is a “leak” or leak of substance. This substance can be a virus or live bacteria from the laboratory. It is usually understood as a failure of the air recycling system, filtering or a laboratory accident where containment has failed. If then it is by human hand, we can not know, and clearly becomes bioterrorism).
The question that will whisk you in mind from the beginning of the article is: but what is my survival index in this case?
Survival in the event of a bioterrorist attack or outbreak
To be honest low, really low: if you live in big cities and you are one of those who think “the government will take care of it” your survival index is negative. Unfortunately, it is not known when and how an infection or an outbreak will occur. The only weapon available is prevention and knowing your enemy …
Start from this fact: bacteria and viruses have already won the battle. Every year, even the only flu becomes more resistant to drugs and this because it evolves due to the excessive use of antibiotics and drugs. The human being uses more and more medicines and genetically transmits immune weaknesses to his heirs in hundreds of years. The body of the modern human being is no longer able to fight many diseases alone.
That said, do not be demotivative, indeed. You must know your enemy and especially the vectors of contagion.
If you know how to avoid infection and take any precautions you are 80% successful!
Avoid the contagion carriers
Every day we are exposed to millions of different viruses and bacteria but our body in 90% of cases can eradicate it and avoid infection. So say thank you to your immune system and do not weaken it with intensive use of medicines. Avoid medications if not absolutely necessary. Obviously the immune system is affected by bad habits such as smoking, drinking or using drugs.
By referring to the article at the top we talk about at least 3 types of pathogens and specifically:
– Escherichia Coli
– Klebsiella Pneumoniae
– Aureus Staffilococco
Now that you know the tools to prevent infection, study how it is contracted (via air, via contact, via fluids …) and put into practice your way of prevention. We summarize the contagion vectors below:
– Airplane (sneezing, air and ventilation filters, crowded places, …): use mask, respirator or gas mask. In order not to look like complete idiots in public, a single-use filtering mask will suffice to give you a good 50% protection. At 100% it would be good to also protect the eyes with full-face glasses, but in public it is not advisable;
– Contact (touching infected objects, ingesting infected substances, …): in extreme cases do not consume fresh food, drink water or substances whose origin is unknown. Wear disposable gloves or under-boots, wash your hands often and use skin-based detergents based on surfactants. I repeat that these are extreme cases. Basic good hygiene and good sense will help you avoid various infections;
– Fluids (blood, mucus, saliva, …): in these cases I think there is little to say, the same rule applies above.
Ultimately for not going long:
1) remember that the battle with pathogens you have already lost, but not the war!
2) prevention and knowledge is your one and only weapon;
3) be prepared and reactive;
4) I will never get tired of saying it, inform yourself and inform yourself, check often the highlights from the WHO website always look for new news and try to be always 3 steps forward!